Santa’s grottos 2018: the South

We round-up the best Santa’s grottos 2018 in the South of England…

Padstow Christmas Festival, Cornwall
As well as their amazing Christmas market 2018, the Padstow Christmas Festival will also play host to a magical Santa’s Grotto this year. Carried by pony and trap, Santa makes his grand entrance into the town on the Friday evening, parading around the streets and greeting well wishers along the way. After this, Father Christmas makes his way to the grotto, where children can pen their list of Christmas wishes before entering the winter wonderland with its snow covered trees and glimmering fairy lights.
When? 6th-9th December.
Where? Around Padstow harbour

Christmas at Newquay Zoo, Cornwall
Enjoy another year of festive fun at the zoo. Complete a candy cane trail, listen to Santa read Christmas classics and handover your Christmas wishlist in the grotto.
Where? Newquay Zoo, Newquay, TR7 2NN
When? Open everyday except Christmas Day

Christmas Adventure Wonderland, Bournemouth
The indoor adventure play centre gets a Christmas makeover complete with a Father Christmas, his faithful reindeer, Rudolph, and helpful elves in their traditional log cabin, where every child receives a gift. Plus, there’s a Christmas Colouring Challenge AND mulled wine and mince pies for the adults!
When? 2018 dates TBC
Where? Merritown Ln, Hurn, Christchurch, Dorset BH23 6BA

Father Christmas comes to Claremont, Surrey
The quaint Thatched Cottage will be magically transformed for a very special visitor…
When? 2018 dates TBC
Where? Portsmouth Rd Esher, Surrey KT10 9JG

Victorian Festival of Christmas, Portsmouth
A UK Christmas market 2018 that promises to be bigger and better than ever before this year, the Victorian Festival of Christmas in Portsmouth is the perfect place to get some Christmas shopping done and catch up with Father Christmas in all his traditional green garb too!
When? From 30 November 2018 until 02 December 2018, 10:00 – 17:00
Where? Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, Victory Gate, HM Naval Base, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO1 3LJ

Christmas at Marwell Zoo, Winchester
Guests at Marwell Zoo meet more than just Santa, they also get to see the helpful elves, Mrs Claus and reindeer’s too! This really will be a day to remember for little ones and parents alike.
When? Open throughout December until Christmas Eve
Where? Thompsons Lane, Colden Common, Winchester, Hampshire, SO21 1JH

Santa Specials at Crampton Tower, Broadstairs
Journey to the top of Crampton Tower, through the elves’ workshop, to visit Father Christmas in his grotto. Kids of all ages can ride on the miniature railway for free with the ticket, as well as get a little gift from Santa to take home.
When? Saturday 1st & Sunday 2nd December; Saturday 8th & Sunday 9th December; Saturday 15th & Sunday 16th December; then Friday 21st December & Saturday 22nd December (8 days).
Where? Crampton Tower Museum, The Broadway, Broadstairs, Kent, CT10 2AB

Santa’s grotto at Wicken Fen National Nature Reserve
The National Trust sure do know how to put on a pretty magical Santa’s grotto, and this festive event at the Fen is no different. Follow a Christmas trail to find Santa and stop by an elves workshop before going home to make some Christmas crafts with the kids.
When? 2018 dates TBC
Where? Lode Ln, Wicken, Ely CB7 5XP

Kent and East Sussex Railway
The Santa Specials take place on a return steam train ride from Tenterden to Northiam Station – a delightful 1hour and 10 minutes journey. Santa visits each child on the train and delivers their (age appropriate) gift to them during the return journey to Northiam. There’s even a mince pie and tipple for the adults. This event is very popular, so book ahead to avoid dissapointment.
When? 1st, 2nd, 8th, 9th, 15th, 16th & 21st – 24th December
Where? Tenterden Town Station, Station Road, Tenterden, Kent, TN30 6HE.

Santa’s grotto at Ham House and Garden, Surrey
See how the Stuarts celebrated Christmas and follow the magical Christmas trail in the 17th-century gardens to Santa’s magical grotto.
When? 2nd December – 3rd January
Where? Ham House and Garden, Ham Street, Ham, Richmond-upon-Thames, Surrey, TW10 7RS

More Santa’s grottos…

Santa’s grottos across the UK  

Santa’s grottos: London

Santa’s grottos: the Midlands Santa’s grottos: Wales
Santa’s grottos: the North Santa’s grottos: Scotland